Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Yes, of course. We are preparing for some live performances to support our new album that are going to take place this spring. And also we are getting ready to record our next hateful songs that have already been composed. In brief, from time to time we rehearse old material and create something new.
2. You have a new album coming out towards the end of March, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I would describe the sound of “Zakon Zbroi” as a tragic reflection of the pain and military deaths of our Ancestors. Although it’s an album that is filled with patriotic and nature-worshipping notes, the main theme of the CD is ritual of death and “mass execution” of Belarusian Folk. As for the musical direction it’s a mixture of Pagan\Black Metal with touches of different music styles. The sound is rather raw and atmospheric but at the same time it’s quality is good. We used 4 Belarusian studios to transfer our thoughts into sound and as a result we got the sound we wanted at the stage of ideas. In my opinion in comparison with previous “Adzinota Kruka” and “Go Beyond Gist” these songs are more solid, melodic and bleak with plenty of diverse arrangements. This is the first time we didn’t use keyboards during the record at all (only in introduction, but it was specially created for us by Sever from LIHOLESIE Project as an independent track). All the additional arrangements were recorded on acoustic instruments such as violin, bagpipe, different kinds of flutes, additional authentic drumming and as for me it reinforced the dark atmosphere of the album and made it truly “alive” but not synthetic. It’s very important.
3. The lyrics on the new album cover a great amount of historical topics from your homeland, can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrics you have written for the new album?
The lyrics on the album cover only one main topic – the times of the Second World War on Belarusian territory (1941-1945). During these times approximately half of the population of Belarus was killed or sorely died in concentration camps. Many of villages were burnt alive along with their inhabitants and the country was totally destroyed after fierce battles that took place here in abundance. I tried to describe the face of war as plausible as it was in reality. And I must say that the lyric part of the album is inseparable from musical one and very meaningful for us.
4. Since 2006 there has only been 1 split and one full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
MASSENHINRICHTUNG is not an ordinary band and we have no “schedule” or release plan. When we have something to say – we do. In 2008 the situation became more complicated by the fact that I put the project on hold and for two years we had no joint musical activity with HresVelgr at all! Later in 2010 we were invited to play some gigs in Russia and that fact gave us enormous motivation to revive the band. We recorded songs for a split CD with RAVEN THRONE band and at the same time we began to work on “Zakon Zbroi” album. As you can see we have been working on it for almost 4 years. What are the reasons of such a long recording process? Trivially, families and work.
From the early beginning we decided to make a deeply conceptual album with a strong basis on the topic that we are really concerned. The Second World War is extremely honored in Belarus as it has touched almost every family one way or another. For dozens of times we were in stalker expeditions, visiting memorable places of war, mass graves and battlegrounds for we could inspire the real atmosphere of REAL deadly fight and express our feelings through music. It took some years but we have done it. And yes, we are stalkers in our essence.
5. I know that the band name means 'Mass Execution' in German, how does it fit in with the musical style that you play?
In my opinion it fits our music well. Our songs are dedicated to war, death, natural disasters, scourges and catastrophes. Isn’t it “Mass Execution”? I think it is.
6. Originally the band started out as a solo project but has evolved into a full line up over the years, what was the decision behind going into this direction?
Of course, as I told you above, I wanted to extend the line up to participate in festivals that we were invited. It was a very bad option to engage session musicians every time we played, so I decided to reorganize MASSENHINRICHTUNG into a live band with a permanent line up. I wasn’t seeking for professional musicians and proposed to my Friends and Brothers to take part in this project. Since then we are a band. However, all in all in studio I prefer to record all the instruments myself. It’s a pity (or not), but sometimes I’m a little bit tyrannical during the creative process. Moreover, I guess that the music sounds like a path to the brain of the composer mostly when the author records songs totally himself. Therefore, “Zakon Zbroi” is a musical trip to my thoughts.
7. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
During a performance we try to create the dark and authentic Belarusian atmosphere and to suppress the listener with a squall of negative energetic. Each our performance is an ejection of malice to the ears of the audience. In the rest – we behave as a usual old-school metal band. Honestly and directly.
What concerns best gigs that we had over the years, the first things that come to my mind is Travien Fest in Minsk in 2014 and Pagan Winterstorm in Vitebsk in 2013. The atmosphere and the public were really mad and crazy that times. Also it is worth mentioning Russian mini-tour with Polish ARKONA. It was a great experience.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Unfortunately not now. We are an underground band and don’t have any particular plans to have a long-term tour to support our new album. We shall just play some single shows in Belarus, Ukraine and in some European Countries. Maybe we’ll have something like European mini-tour but it is still a subject of discussion and planning. Time shall show.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of pagan and black metal?
To be honest, I didn’t follow the feedback on “Zakon Zbroi” on this moment. But, of course, it’s very nice to receive reviews on our e-mail, both positive and negative, but actually…. we are not 100$ banknote to be liked by everybody.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the bands members are involved with?
Many of them are preparing new materials for new albums. Some of bands are widely touring this spring.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
New material that is being prepared nowadays is rather different in comparison with “Zakon Zbroi”. It’s worth saying that it is more “old-school” and more “metallic” than previous songs. I decided to make something like a tribute to the music of the times when we were growing up. So sometimes it borders with thrash\black metal in its most aggressive and evil form. But all in all it shall be in a style of MASSENHINRICHTUNG – it comes from the heart, creates a certain authentic atmosphere and rather pushing and onslaught. Anyway, it shall be an exclusive album of experiments that shall reflect actual aspects of our outlook. Back to roots!
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
When I was creating music for “Zakon Zbroi” I watched a lot of feature and documental films about War, so strangely enough, but the main influence came from soundtracks from these videos and from silence of Battlefields and Beds of Honor. Not from metal artists. Also I would like to thank Stogn, Narg and Sever for their enormous contribution to the sound of this album and for their musical ideas – they have done a lot for this CD.
My music preferences are wide enough. I like almost all metal and rock genres on a par with folk, classics and ambient\industrial music. If to talk about latest releases I am deeply impressed with last album of WOODS OF YPRES, latest works of ANATHEMA and KATATONIA. The first favorites for all the times that come into my mind now are BATHORY, SODOM, SLAYER and THE EXPLOITED.
13.How would you describe your views on paganism?
Hmm… First of all it’s not a religion, it’s a set of rules that guides us throughout our lives. We try to follow the traditions inherited from our dark past and to keep contact of Blood and Soil. We clearly understand that we are only temporary guests here and respect the Rule of Nature. We just use the energy of four elements.
14.In one interview you had talked about your interest in the writings of H.P Blavatsky, does your interest in the occult go deeper than that and if so tell us a little bit more about your interest in occultism?
Yes, I have a great interest to the occult masterpieces of Helen Blavatsky. Moreover I admire the sense of purpose of this genius scientist and writer. She contributed a lot to the theosophical culture and was one of the most “close” to the Verity. The Verity that is hidden in the depth of the Nature and will sometimes unveil only to the chosen ones. But not nowadays, because our damn generation is unworthy of that, in my opinion. Our generation is growing up on Internet, Coca-Cola, McDonalds and porno videos. What kind of High Sciences and Ariosophy can we talk about now? Don’t confuse High Technologies and High Sciences… Spiritual traditions are almost lost now.
15.What are some of your non musical interests?
Travelling, sports, photography and literature.
16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank You for Your profound questions. Hope that this interview will help the audience to understand clearly the concept of our new album and people in Europe shall learn something new about the history of Belarus. Hail Belarus! Hail Kryuja! SUPPORT THE UNDERGROUND!